The rapid development of computer video games had a significant impact on the development of modern eSports, as well as companies directly related to it. The legendary Doom was the first computer game that had a multiplayer game mode over a local network. However, the weak implementation of this mode could not ensure the proper level of online battles. But the development process of network games did not stop there. In 1996, the cult game Quake appeared, which had not only a great single-player mode, but also a well-thought-out multiplayer, which allowed for dynamic and very brutal battles. As a result, thanks to the incredible success of the brainchild of id Software, in 1997, the first professional league Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) appeared, which actually started the history of eSports. The main discipline of the CPL for the first few years was the game Quake, which, by the way, is the first fully 3D game in the genre of FPS (First-Person Shooter). At the same time, the key to victory in the match, in most cases, is not only the speed of the player's reaction, but also the technical features of the game manipulators, in particular, the mouse, which at that time was not distinguished by either high speed or positioning accuracy. In addition, most mice did not have good ergonomic properties.
For the most part, it was the correction of existing shortcomings of conventional mice that are also used for gaming that became the crucial link through which the world learned about Razer USA Ltd., whose main goal was to provide professional gaming devices.
Razer is the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality gaming equipment. Razer was officially founded in the fall of 1998 in a small office in San Diego, California, by Robert Krakoff (Robert Krakoff), who later became the company's president, and Min-Liang Tan (Min-Liang Tan), who took the post of chief executive officer at the same time, and even a creative director. However, the first conceptual developments in the realization of an ideal mouse intended for the gaming audience began a year before the foundation, in December 1997. The first concept was an optical-mechanical model, which already at that time had a record sensor sensitivity of 800 dpi.
The name for the company was quickly coined - Razor, in reference to a spontaneously mentioned incident in Robert's life, when he accidentally cut himself with a razor. However, during the submission of documents for the registration of the company, Ming-Liang, not knowing English spelling well, made a slight mistake and wrote Razer instead of Razor. The resulting name was unexpected for everyone, including Ming-Liang.
The company is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. In addition, Razer has many branches located in such large cities as San Francisco, Hamburg, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore. At the same time, despite the various problems that constantly arise, Razer does not stop expanding and presenting new products in many new countries.
The main goal of the company from the first days of its existence is to create the largest gaming brand - a manufacturer of the best gaming peripherals. And now it can be said that Razer is on the right path to realizing all its plans.
Razer has a very interesting approach to naming their products. So, for example, the model range of mice is named after poisonous snakes, keyboards have the names of spiders, the
names of predatory fish are used for speaker systems, models of playing surfaces (mats) are named after insects, and the names of mammals are used for accessories.
Robert Krakoff is one of the founders and also the president of Razer. Since the end of the 1970s, he has been actively involved in the development of computer peripherals for computer games.
Robert has a well-rounded education with a bachelor's degree in journalism and marketing, as well as a master's degree in business. Robert believes that the president of the company should be in a close enough relationship with his customers that his name, photo and email address are on the packaging of all Razer products. You can also easily find him on social networks and meet him at various exhibitions and large gaming events. Since 2000, Robert is known under the nickname Razerguy.
Robert is also Razer's primary contact. In his spare time, Robert enjoys writing fantasy novels, playing tennis and playing computer games (his favorite genres are FPS and MMO).
Min-Liang Tan is the co-founder, chief executive officer, creative director and key player of Razer. Thanks to his ambition, aggressiveness and desire for perfection, he, together with Robert Krakoff, ensured rapid internal development of the company, as well as in the field of the gaming industry.
Ming-Liang was born in Singapore and currently resides in California, where he oversees Razer's global operations, which include offices in the US, Germany, Singapore, China and Korea.
In addition, Ming-Liang is responsible for providing Razer's strategic leadership by creating the company's long-term goals, strategies, plans and policies. He is also responsible for the design and development of all Razer products.
The history of Razer's first products
In the early fall of 1999, after a year of research and development, products under the Razer brand appeared on the shelves of computer stores for the first time. The first model, and at the same time the world's first gaming mouse, was the Razer Boomslang, named after a poisonous South African snake. The mouse was sold in two configurations, the differences between which were the price and the sensitivity of the sensor based on Kärna Precision technology. Already from the first days of sale, Boomslang 1000 (1000 dpi) and Boomslang 2000 (2000 dpi) received recognition among gamers, and various information publications awarded the model many awards, including "Gaming Accessory of the Year". The company was even more popular when it sponsored the biggest Razer CPL Quake 3 Arena Championship, which was won by Jonathan Fatal1ty Wendell using a Razer Boomslang 2000 mouse.
However, it is not only the Razer company that deserves credit for this, because in the early years of its existence, it did not have a large number of its own qualified employees, due to which it had to resort to significant outside help.
For example, the design company Flitch helped to create the design of the mouse, as well as the design of the official website and the general style of the brand, and the marketing agency Ignited Minds was responsible for promoting the product on the market. In addition, Razer works directly with many professional gamers who also participate in development through product testing, the goal of which is to identify the maximum number of errors with the functionality and ergonomics of a particular model. That is why the slogan of the company sounds like For Gamers. By Gamers.
But soon, in January 2000, Boomslang production stopped. The Taiwanese company that produced Razer mice went out of business due to the effects of the September 21, 1999 earthquake. In addition, due to the bankruptcy of a trading partner, there was an urgent need to find a new one. After six months of searching, a partner was found and Boomslang production resumed.
However, in the fall of 2001, new problems arose. Razer's trading partner has been acquired by the largest mouse manufacturer. Accordingly, the partner refused to sell Boomslang. In addition, a typhoon that passed through Asia at the time destroyed most of the warehouse components, which put Razer's existence in jeopardy.
The next step in Razer's history was a collaboration with Sinergy Media, which resulted in the production of a small batch of Boomslang in late 2001 for sale during the Christmas period. But the many problems that have appeared in the relationship between Sinergy Media and Razer make their union impossible, as a result of which the Razer company stops its activities for a whole year.
TerraTec Mystify Razer Boomslang 2100
Firmly holding on to the Boomslang technology, Razer in 2003 presented a modified version of the model - Razer Boomslang 2100. Soon, the first order for its production, which is carried out under an OEM agreement, comes from the German company TERRATEC Electronic GmbH. Thus, the TerraTec Mystify Razer Boomslang 2100 appears. This model received many positive reviews at the international exhibition CeBIT 2003, dedicated to information and telecommunication technologies. But due to problems with the production and export of finished products, the new product appeared on sale much later than expected. Due to all these circumstances, TERRATEC abandons OEM production after some time. But in addition to the TerraTec Mystify Razer Boomslang 2100, the BFG Sniper Boomslang 2100 from the American company BFG Technologies, Inc. was sold under an OEM agreement in the US.
At the end of 2003, Razer, feeding the last hopes for Boomslang technology, releases two new models under its own brand - Razer Boomer Speed (1400 dpi) and Razer BoomerControl (2100 dpi). But the concept of the ball mouse, which has practically disappeared, put a "fat point" on the Boomslang series of models.
In early 2004, after changing the manufacturing trade partner to Razer Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd., located in Singapore, and completely abandoning the Boomslang technology, Razer introduced its first gaming mouse based on the Razer Precision optical sensor - the RazerViper. Sales of the new mouse in a compact ergonomic design, combined with light construction, started already in April 2004 and were more than successful. However, a mouse with a slightly inflated price with a sensor that was not the most sensitive at the time was not affordable for many, which is why the company decided to move the Razer Viper to a more affordable price segment and introduce a new model in its place.
At the end of the same 2004, the Razer company releases a new mouse - the Razer Diamondback, which instantly becomes a bestseller. Based on the Viper's development, it offers improved ergonomics, as well as a more sensitive optical sensor with a resolution of 1600 dpi, powered by Razer Precision technology.
In mid-2005, Razer, following the unprecedented success of the Razer Diamondback, released a limited-edition Razer Diamondback Plasma. The main feature of the novelty is the use of an infrared sensor, which ensures more accurate movement of the cursor.
Razer Pro | Solutions
In July 2005, Boston, Massachusetts-based Razer launches its new brand, Razer Pro | Solutions, under the name of which mice, keyboards and specialized mats are being produced, aimed primarily at work in graphic and engineering applications. The main platform for the model range of this brand is Mac OS X. Windows OS support appeared only in the middle of 2007 and only for the Razer Pro model | Click V1.6. However, the Pro|Solutions trademark is currently frozen.